Things are looking up for tea – there was high tea production but regrettably the high tea production eats into farmers’ earnings The bumper tea harvest in the first five months of the year has cut earnings for farmers with a kilo of tea fetching an average $2.87 from $3.02 over the same period in 2012. The latest tea industry report shows that May’s tea production rose to 39.6 million kilos from 37.3 million during the same month last year. This brought the cumulative tea output from January to May to 195 million kilos against 127.9 million recorded in 2012.
Tea Board of Kenya attributed the higher output to adequate rainfall in most of the main tea growing regions in the country
“Across the sub-sectors, production within the plantation sub-sector rose from 12.8 million kilos to 14.9 million kilos while that of the small holder sub-sector increased marginally from 24.5 million kilos to 24.6 million kilos…Higher export volume was largely attributed to increased supply compared to that of the same period last year. During the month, Kenya tea was shipped to t34 export destinations compared to 42 destinations for the same period of last year owing to less demand by the seasonal buyers,”
a representative of the board stated.
The total export volume for May 2013 was 45.4 million kilos compared to29.9 million kilos recorded over the same month last year with Egypt maintaining the top export market spot. Afghanistan recorded a huge jump in exports from 1.6 million kilos sold there last May to 7.6 million kilos, a growth of 390 per cent. Tea volume sold to Pakistan stood at 6.2 million kilos from 3.9 million kilos.
Local consumption of tea grew to 2.16 million kilos from 1.57 million. Cumulative consumption of tea for the first five months of the year stood at 10.3 million kilos compared to 7.07 million previously.
So ultimately, while the production of tea is rising the cost of tea is falling. Making it good news for the tea market, but not so great news for those that are producing it. Everything has it’s fluctuations though, it might just be a good harvest this time around and here’s hoping that it stays that way, if anything maybe that it gets a little better for the producers.